The world knows so much about these Asian cuisines Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Thai etc but little is known about Philippine Cuisine. But despite this, one dish from the Philippines is making waves abroad and that of course is Adobo.
The most popular version is chicken pork adobo.
What is adobo and its ingredients?
Adobo is a method of cooking meat using ingredients that includes at the very basic vinegar, soy sauce, laurel leaves (bay leaves), black pepper corns, garlic and your choice of meat. In the Philippines we have ready made adobo cuts in the supermarket, that’s what’s use on this recipe. Other variations in other islands adds star anis, sugar, coconut milk, egg and other local ingredients depending on what is abundant in a particular area. There is no one look / one taste of pinoy adobo because of this. But the most famous preparation is how the Tagalog cooks adobo.
Adobo can be dark, it can also be white. The white adobo is from Pampanga, the culinary capital of the Philippines. Instead of using soy sauce, they use salt to flavor the marinade. In the Bicol Region, adobo is usually cook with gata or coconut milk. In Candelaria, Quezon, their famous version is adobong kalabaw sa gata (adobo using carabeef stewed in cocomilk). In Cebu, the version of adobo is called humba. For vegetarian, instead of using meat, kangkong and sitaw are used.
We are a tropical country and foods spoil easily especially before the days of refrigeration. So Filipinos use vinegar in most dishes as a way to extend the shelf life of a dish. When the Spaniards arrived on our shore, they saw the natives cook this way, which has distant similarity with the Adobo of Spanish Cuisine. So the Spaniards also gave the term ‘adobo’ to this Filipino dish and it has stuck ever since.
Adobo can be had for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This is a very simple dish and easy to cook. You put all ingredients on a casserole, heat it, bring it to a boil over medium heat until meat is tender. Then reduce the sauce to your liking. Some like dried adobo, while some prefer adobo with more sauce.
The Perfect Match for Adobo is Hot, Steaming Rice!
For Filipinos no meal is complete without rice and for adobo, this holds very true. Pair a steaming cup of rice with adobo for a perfect meal combo!
Have an adobo today!